Bryce Harper: biography
Bryce Aron Max Harper is an American professional baseball player performing for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB) on the right fielder position. Before he played in the Washington Nationals.
Childhood and youth
Harper was born on October 16, 1992, in Las Vegas, Nevada, the USA to the middle-class family. His father Ron was an ironworker in Harper's home city. The man was a hard worker; he disappeared in a workshop for several days. Bryce's mother Sherilyn Harper was a house-keeper and a good mother: she strived to pay the son's attention to Ron's diligence and bring up a decent person. In his future admissions, Bryce will say:
"I wanted to come out, and I wanted to work hard because he (his father) worked hard. He did it for over 25 years."
Bryce has an elder brother Bryan – he is also a baseball player. Earlier he has fought for the Washington Nationals. His colleagues said that the brothers spoke by phone "almost every day" during baseball seasons. Besides, Bryan played with Joey Gallo and Kris Bryant.
Harper studied at the Las Vegas High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. There he became interested in playing, had a dream to become a professional. So, having finished the second grade, he got his General Educational Development (GED) and applied for the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft which took place in June 2010. It was the start of his brilliant sports career.
In 2010, at the age of 17, Harper entered the College of Southern Nevada of the Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). There he performed on the catcher position. That time his brother Bryan (who was his mate in the High School team) also started a new period of his life – he was a starting pitcher in the Southern Nevada Coyotes.
In 66 rings Bryce Harper made 31 home runs with 98 runs batted and beat a previous Colleges record of 12 home runs. In 2010 the player got the 2010 SWAC Player of the Year title.
In 2010 his team got to the Western district finals where he succeeded: he made 6-for-7 and hit for the cycle.
One day later, in the next game, Harper recorded 2-for-5 with a three-run double in the thirst ring. In the second he went 6-for-6 with 4 home runs.
On June 2, the judge Don Gilmore kicked Bryce out of the National Junior College World Series game for disputing. Harper drew a line in the dirt with his bat while leaving in order to show where he thought the pitch was. Remarkably, that time the player was expelled for the second time. Subsequently, he had to stop working. When such a perfect player quit, the Southern Nevada team lost two matches and was eliminated from the Championship.
However, after the punishment Harper didn't give up: he began the amateur career and won the Golden Spikes Award as the best baseball amateur in the United States.
In the MBL draft 2010, Bryce was chosen by the Washington Nationals. Though the player had earlier performed on the catcher position, the new team made him an outfielder to help him develop.
Several days later, the sportsman signed with the club a 5-year $10 million contract including $6.25 million signing bonus and 8 free semesters in college.
On August 26, 2010, Harper officially joined the club. He chose the jersey with the number 34, cause he has always been a fan of Mickey Mantle, whose number was 7 – the sum of 3 and 4.
Harper was the team's leader in terms of home runs and walks. Due to it, the player was selected as a participant in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) for the Scottsdale Scorpions taxi-squad. Interestingly, he became the second-youngest sportsman to take part in it in the league history (he was two days older than Fernando Martínez, the youngest one). He batted .343 and slugged .729. On November 20, Harper's team defeated all the opposers and won the AFL 2010 AFL Championship.
Later Bryce was optioned to the Hagerstown Suns of the Class-A South Atlantic League. The sportsman started a minor league career in April 2011. In spring the sportsman had problems with the vision and visited an optometrist, Dr. Keith Smithson. The doctor stated that Bryce had “the worst eyes” he had ever seen. Bryce had to take pills and wear contact lenses. Due to it, his results were improved: he recorded .420, made 7 home runs, 10 walks, and 23 RBIs.
In 2011 Bryce Harper represented the United States of America in the 2011 All-Star Futures Game. On July 4, he became the Harrisburg Senators of the Class AA Eastern League.
On August 18, 2011, Harper got seriously injured his hamstring while playing. The severe trauma became the reason for the coachers to get him out of the field. Bryce didn't perform for the rest of the season 2011.
The first Harper's match of the next MLB season became the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The ring happened to be successful: he recorded the first major league hit and a double. In his third match, Harper, fighting against the Javy Guerra, made the first major league RBI.
On May 14, at the age of 19, Harper hit his first career Major League home run. He became the youngest dominant league sportsman to do it since Adrián Beltré did in 1998.
On April 2012 the sportsman got to the major league again in 2012, when he made a deep home run. Accidentally, he stroke and destroyed an advertising banner near the field.
Harper was voted by fans as a candidate for playing in the All-Star Final Vote. Although he got the third place in the poll after David Freese and Michael Bourn, the player joined the championship when Ian Desmond got injured. Due to it, Harper became the youngest player there except for Dwight Gooden and Bob Feller.
In the All-Star matches, Bryce showed bad stats: in the first 26 fights, he hit .176 with 26 strikeouts. His manager Davey Johnson gave him days off because of such a disappointment, saying that the sportsman aggression became excessive.
At the end of August, the sportsman improved the results. So, on August 29, the game against the Miami Marlins became his first career multi-homer match. Bryce went on being aggressive: in the game, he threw his helmet down as a reaction to an unfair score. The game against the Chicago Cubs which took place on September 5 happened to be successful for him: firstly, it was another multi-homer fight for him. Secondly, he scored .330 with 7 home rounds and got the Rookie of the Month title.
On October 5, he fought against the Chicago Cubs. He hit .330 with 7 home runs, got 254 total bases and 57 extra bases. It was the best result a 20-year-old sportsman had ever succeeded to show. His stats were called the best stats of a regular season for a teenager in the past 45 years.
In 2012, in the Game 5 of the NLDS, the sportsman played against the All-Star break. Although Bryce's team lost the game, he showed his excellence in scoring several home runs.
Due to the poll where Bryce gathered 112 votes, he got the title of the National League Rookie of the Year and was given the Rookie card having outrun Wade Miley (who received 105 votes) and Todd Frazier.
Bryce regularly trained and became good at home runs. So, in the first match of the season 2013, he recorded two home runs. It was the winning fight against the Miami Marlins. In consequence, he was named the youngest major league player to make two home runs in a first game and was recognized a starter for the MLB All-Star Game for the second time in his career.
In 58 matches, the player managed to score 13 home runs, and the coachers selected him to take part in the 2013 Home Run Derby. In general, he hit 16 home runs in the first rounds which led him to the finals. In the final game, he had to play against the Yoenis Céspedes. Unfortunately, he lost the match with the score 9-8, but it couldn't make him give up: he was the second-youngest player to take part in a Home Run Derby and the youngest one to get to the final.
Bryce made his 17th season home run in the match on August 6. It was the 39th homer in his career and he was enrolled in the list of the players who have scored 35+ home runs being younger than 21 years old.
In summer Harper underwent left knee surgery removing a bursa sac.
On April 25, 2014, the player got injured again: he suffered a left thumb injury. Initially, the doctors stated he would miss 15 days of playing. However, on April 28, the news announced that Harper needed to undergo surgery to repair the ligament tear in the thumb. He got back to games only 2 months later, on June 30. In spite of a recent trauma, in 100 season games, he hit .273 with 13 home runs and 32 RBIs.
In 2014 Harper was going to move to Japan as a participant in the 2014 Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series. However, for some reasons, he had to deny the idea.
On April 18, 2015, in the match with the Philadelphia Phillies, Harper recorded the longest career home run. It wasn't a limit: so, almost one month later, on May 6, Harper made three home runs in one game for the first time! Interestingly, in the fight Harper's team faced and beat with the score 7-5 one of the most severe opposers: the Miami Marlins. Bryce Harper is still the youngest player to make such results since Joe Lahoud did it in 1969. The successful games brought the sportsman the Month Award for May.
Harper was in the lists of the best baseball players in terms of home runs and RBIs quantity. He became the youngest player in the whole history to record at least 40 home runs and 120 walks in a season. Earlier its title was held by Babe Ruth.
Baseball America, a sports magazine, named Harper the 2015 player of the year. On October 31, he got the 2015 Hank Aaron Award. On November 2015, he was unanimously called the Most Valuable Player 2015. A 23-year-old, he became the youngest player to be selected as an MVP unanimously.
On May 8, 2016, fighting against the Chicago Cubs, Bryce Harper scored 6 and set a new record. He also reached base 7 times. In total, the player, having made 13 walks in 4 games, set an MLB record for most walks in a game.
However, the player's aggression and delicate nature had not disappeared. So, on May 9, Harper was ejected from the dugout for disputing with the umpire Brian Knight when the teammate Danny Espinosa was called out on strikes. Harper returned to the field to celebrate the win with his teammates and was caught shouting profanity towards Knight. Two days later, Harper was given a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine, but Harper appealed the same day. On May 14, Harper dropped his appeal and began serving the one-game suspension.
In total, in 147 games of the 2016 season, Harper scored a .243 batting average, 24 home runs and 86 RBIs, 108 walks.
Nationals' season record was 95-67. Unfortunately, they were beaten by the Dodgers in the 2016 NLDS.
In the first match of the 2017 season, which was against the Miami Marlins, the player made a solo home run: the fifth in his career. Later he set a record MLB for terms: he made 32 ones, while the previous person to do it was Larry Walker with 29 home runs in 1997.
On May 13, Bryce Harper signed a one-year $21,625 million contract with the Nationals.
On May 29, a severe conflict occurred between the San Francisco Giants player Hunter Strickland and Harper. Strickland cheated and hit Bryce. Short-tempered Bryce punched him in return, and the brawl started. Interestingly, the rumors said that earlier the sportsmen had already had a conflict. Not only Strickland and Harper suffered from the fistfight: their colleagues striving to stop it were hit. So, Giants first baseman Michael Morse sustained a serious concussion in a collision with Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija.
Both fighters were expelled. The next day, Harper got the punishment: he was suspended four games. He appealed, and then got a three-game suspension. The news “Bryce Harper charges the mound after being hit by Hunter Strickland ” was in every tabloid.
In the next seasons game, on August 7, he scored the 150th home run. That time he was 24 years and 295 days old. On August 12, the player got a knee injury: he suffered a hyperextended left knee and left the game.
Fortunately, he recovered fast and returned on September 27, taking part in the match against the Philadelphia Phillies.
In the season 2018, Harper recorded more walks than in previous years. So, he finished having 130 walks, 34 home runs, and 100 RBIs. It was the first his season with triple-digit RBIs. He became a free agent after the 2018 season.
On March 2, 2019, Harper signed a 13-year $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. It had been the largest contract until Mike Trout signed a 12-year $430 million contract.
He chose No. 3 as his game number, cause the number he wore with the Nationals was being considered for retirement by the Phillies in honor of Roy Halladay. Harper’s first hit as a member of the Phillies was a 465-foot home run to the second deck of the right-field bleachers at Citizens Bank Park on March 31, 2019, off Jesse Biddle of the Atlanta Braves.
However the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees wanted to buy the sportsman, his current team didn’t agree to trade him.
Harper’s salary is $10 million.In 2019 Bryce’s current net worth is evaluated at $25 million.
Harper has a wife, Kayla Varner. Bryce engaged with his then-girlfriend in 2014. They planned to marry in 2015, but the wedding did not take place because of the break-up.
In July 2016, the couple made up and reengaged. They married at the San Diego California Temple in December 2016. Now they are expecting their first child.
Bryce is famous for his beautiful hair. He changes the haircut every month.
Recently, on March 30, the Phillie Phanatic, Harper’s team’s mascot was sporting some custom footwear, inspired by Harper. The Phanatic wore his typical green sneakers to the game and big gloves, but this time he had pictures of Harper on his shoes.
His new sneaker design was a nod to Harper, who rocked Phanatic-themed cleats for his debut with the Phillies on Opening Day. The Phanatic's eyes were featured on Harper's neon green spikes.
Bryce Harper is a very religious person. However, the sportsman breaks down Mormon stereotypes: in spite of his religious attitude, he confesses to being sinful.
Earlier the player wore the shoes in honor of the late Miami Marlins player José Delfín Fernández who died in 2016.
When Bryce was 19, his interview became a real meme. So, the player was surrounded by older colleagues who took him to benders. One day a sports journalist asked him if he was not ashamed of drinking. The latter said
"That's a clown question, bro." The funny video exploded the Internet.
The sportsman has demonstrated perfect career stats and has got several awards:
- NL Most Valuable Player (2015)
- 6× MLB All-Star selection (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
- National League Rookie of the Year (2012)
- NL Hank Aaron Award (2015)
- Silver Slugger Award (2015)
- ESPN MLB Person of the Year (2015)
- All-Star Futures Game selection (2011)
- Golden Spikes Award (2010)
- SWAC Player of the Year (2010)
- Baseball America High School Player of the Year (2009)